Patricia Curthoys

PHA Accreditation

Professional Members


Patricia Curthoys works as both an independent historian and a researcher, having been employed on a range of Australian history projects by academics, non-government organisations and in television. She is a skilled archival researcher, having worked in a variety of archives, both public and private. She has also worked as an oral historian. She has significant project management experience, including the collection and organisation of material using different databases. She holds a PhD in Australian history from the University of New South Wales and is recognised as a Professional Historian by Professional Historians Australia.

Contact by e-mail:

Area of Expertise

Australian religious history, Australian welfare history.

Publications/Past Work

Researcher, ‘Second Shock: Australia’s Great Depression and the legacy of World War I, with Professor Joan Beaumont, ANU (2016).


Researcher, ‘What Australia Thinks: A History of Australian Public Opinion Polls’, with Emeritus Professor Murray Goot, Macquarie University (2015- ).


Researcher, Australia: The Story of Us (8 x 44’ history series), Essential Media, Sydney (2013-2014).


Researcher, ‘Family History, Identity and Public History: Representing the Bicentenary of the Benevolent Society of New South Wales’, with Dr Tanya Evans, Macquarie University (2012-2013).


Consultant historian, The Benevolent Society (2011-2012).

The Benevolent Society 200 Years Celebration History Project:


Oral historian, The History of Adoption Project (2010).


Researcher, ‘Religion, welfare and problem populations in Australia 1788-2006’ (2007-2010), ‘Fathers and fatherhood in Australian history’ (1996) and ‘History of Religion in Australia’ (1994) with Professor Anne O’Brien, UNSW.


Consultant historian and co-author of a history of Pitt Street Congregational Church, Sydney (2001-2008)

Outcome: Emilsen, Susan, Skerman, Ben, Curthoys, Patricia and Emilsen, William, Pride of Place: A History of the Pitt Street Congregational Church, Beaconsfield, Circa, 2008.


Researcher, ‘Height, weight and length: Biometric explorations of Australia’s socio-economic fabric in the long run, 1860-1970’ (2005-2007), ‘Understanding colonial Australia/ Building a national resource’ (2002-2004) and ‘Scratching a living: Measuring the impact of industrialisation on nineteenth-century living standards in Great Britain and Ireland’ (2000-2002), with Associate Professor Deborah Oxley and Associate Professor David Meredith, UNSW.


Researcher, ‘The Europeans in Australia’ (1998-2003), with Professor Alan Atkinson, UNE.


Co-researcher and co-author, for the Centre for Community History, The University of New South Wales (1997-1998)

Outcome: Heath, Lesley and Curthoys, Patricia, Lottie Stewart Hospital 1948-1998, Lottie Stewart Hospital, 1998.